GOP Leaders Press DHS on Illegal Charged with Murder of Five

The recent murder of five people in Los Angeles allegedly by an illegal immigrant with multiple prior arrests raises more concerns about the Obama Administration’s ability to keep Americans safe, according to the chairmen of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees.

Earlier this month, Johnny Josue Sanchez, an illegal immigrant from Honduras, allegedly murdered five people in Los Angeles by intentionally setting fire to the building in which they were sleeping.

According to reports, Sanchez was homeless and had been arrested and released multiple times — including an arrest by Border Patrol after he illegally entered the U.S. in 2012. Border Patrol then transferred Sanchez to the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which released him a week later after determining he did not have a prior criminal or immigration violation. Sanchez had multiple drug offenses and a domestic violence charge to his name. He was never removed from the U.S., despite also failing to periodically report to ICE.

“In light of the fact that Sanchez is an illegally present alien, who was known to ICE but not placed in removal proceedings, it appears that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has not taken all appropriate actions to ensure the safety and security of the American public,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) wrote in a letter to DHS Sec. Jeh Johnson this week.

In their letter the pair press the DHS head for additional information about Sanchez including his complete immigration and criminal history. They also request more background on whether he would have been shielded from deportation by the Obama Administration’s “priorities” for enforcement if he had encountered immigration officials prior to allegedly killing five people.

“If Sanchez had been encountered by DHS enforcement officials prior to his arrest for murder, would he have met the requirements to be considered a priority for removal under the Administration’s Priority Enforcement Program?” the Goodlatte and Grassley asked. “If so, please provide the exact reason for such consideration.  If not, why not?”

The committee chairmen’s missive is the most recent in a steady stream of oversight letters from the pair highlighting the administration’s apparent failures in removing criminal aliens from the U.S. and keeping Americans safe.


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